PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to be heard at this meeting please sign the speaker list provided on the table at the side of the Council Chamber. The Chairman reserves the right to limit the amount of time each speaker has for each agenda item.
- Roll Call
- Approval of Minutes from the February 12, 2019 meeting
- Plat of Consolidation Application And Resolution 19-02-PC, 14707 & 14731 Baltimore Avenue, filed by Packard Associates LLC
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
- Amended M-X-T Concept Plan Application No. 891 and Resolution No. 19-03-PC, Van Dusen Road, filed by Strittmatter Land, LLC
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
5. Text Amendment No. 251- Ordinance No. 1941 AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO AMEND CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE I, AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 20 LAND DEVELOPMENT AND SUBDIVISION, ARTICLE I, ZONING, DIVISION 1, DEFINITIONS, SECTION 20-1.7, AND DIVISION 5, ZONING DISTRICTS, SECTION 20-6.13, TO ALLOW HEALTH CAMPUSES WITHIN THE R-5-ONE-FAMILY DETACHED, R-55- ONE-FAMILY DETACHED AND THE R-MD-ONE FAMILY DETACHED MEDIUM DENSITY ZONING DISTRICTS; ALSO TO AMEND THE ACREAGE FOR HOSPITALS OF THE CITY OF LAUREL UNIFIED LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Application filed by the Mayor and City Council.
6. Text Amendment No. 253- Ordinance No. 1942 AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO AMEND CHAPTER 20, AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE LAUREL UNIFIED LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE; CHAPTER 20 LAND DEVELOPMENT AND SUBDIVISION, ARTICLE I ZONING, DIVISION 5 ZONING DISTRICTS, SECTION 20-1.7., SECTION 20-6.13., SECTION 20-7.8., OF THE CITY CODE TO ALLOW FOR TOURIST HOMES AS AN ACCESSORY USE WITHIN A SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING WITHIN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL ZONES; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Application filed by the Mayor and City Council.
FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY FIFTH MEETING
CITY OF LAUREL PLANNING COMMISSION
TUESDAY-APRIL 9, 2019
The meeting convened in the Council Chambers of the Laurel Municipal Center at 7:04 P.M., with Chairwoman Mitzi R. Betman, presiding. The roll was called with the Honorable Rick Wilson, Mr. Bill Wellford, Ms. Krystiana Bonheur and Council President Smalls present. Also present were Larry Taub, City Solicitor, Ms. Christian L. Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development, Mr. Robert Love, Deputy Director, Mr. Monta Burrough, Planner II, and Ms. Brooke Quillen, Secretary to the Commission. There were approximately (50) fifty members of the public in attendance.
The minutes of the February 12, 2019 meeting were approved as written, on motion by Mr. Wellford, seconded by Ms. Bonheur, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present as written, with Mr. Wilson abstaining.
The next agenda item was for Plat of Consolidation Plan Application and Resolution No. 19-02-PC, filed by Packard Associates LLC., 16220 Frederick Road, #300 Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Mr. Burrough stated that the applicant is seeking approval to restripe exiting parking lot and add 15 parking spaces after Plat of Consolidation approval. Tower Plaza Shopping Center is a commercial retail shopping center use that includes (237) parking spaces with a 47,512 square feet commercial building structure divided into several storefronts on site. The property was approved by the City in 1987 and placed in the C-G zone.
The applicant, Dean Packard, 16220 Frederick Road, #300 Gaithersburg, MD 20877, explained the purpose of this project is to overcome a shortage in parking. He stated some of the tenants and property owners are in attendance tonight to speak in support of this application.
Chairwoman Betman opened the public hearing at 7:06 p.m.
Cindy Russell, 794 Fairview Avenue Annapolis, Maryland 21403, property manager, stated the parking issue has escalated with new tenants that have moved in.
Eugene Lee, 8629 Saddleback Laurel, Maryland 20723, new tenant, said there is not enough parking spaces and customer rated a review online, only received one star because of not enough parking.
Bart Castello, 3277 Breckenridge Way Riva, Maryland 21140, stated weekends are even busier and it is causing a big need to support these businesses and approve to increase parking.
Saurabh Pabari, owner of the Big Bazaar Indian Supermarket, 14703 Baltimore Avenue Laurel, Maryland, 20707, said staff informs him every Monday of complaints from customers that visit especially on the weekends that have problems finding parking to shop at his store.
Chairwoman Betman closed the public hearing 7:13 p.m.
The Commission, on motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Bonheur, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to approve the Plat of Consolidation Plan Application and Resolution No. 19-02-PC for 14707 & 14731 Baltimore Avenue Laurel, Maryland 20707 as presented in the Technical Staff Report.
The next agenda item was for Amended M-X-T Concept Plan Application and Resolution No. 19-03-PC, filed by Strittmatter Land LLC., Strittmatter LLC, 9102 Owens Drive Manassas Park, VA 20111. Mr. Love stated that the applicant (Strittmatter) is seeking Revised Conceptual Site Plan for approval to revise their current site known as Westside to reduce the retail area to 40,000 sq. ft. maximum and include an additional eighty-one (81) townhouses on the site.
The applicant’s attorney, Mr. Edward C. Gibbs Jr., Esquire, 1300 Caraway Court Suite #102 Largo, Maryland 20774, briefly discussed the history of the project that started in 2010 with an annexation of the property. He stated retail has dramatically changed in the last 5-10 years and there has been tremendous effort to get a grocery store in the community but has been unsuccessful. Mr. Gibbs stated the developer held two community meetings with a big turn out, however, not one negative complaint was said except the community wants something done and want it sooner than later. Mr. Gibbs said he believes they will be able to get a hotel in the future. Lastly, Mr. Gibbs said they meet every legal ordinance with this proposal and he and his client agree with and support the staff recommendations.
There was some discussion among the Commission and Mr. Gibbs about the project.
Armond Spikell, Roadside Development LLC, 1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW Ste. 512, Washington, D.C., stated Royal Farms is really a much larger piece of land. An acre would normally have 10,000 or 12,000 sq. ft.
Councilman Smalls expressed concerns about traffic in the area from the new development since there is already backup problems. He is curious of any proposal to widen roads or other forms of traffic control.
Michael Lenhart, Lenhart Traffic Consulting, 331 Redwood Grove Court, Millersville, MD 21108, stated retail generates more traffic than residential, so even though they are adding in more homes it would be a reduction of traffic than original plan because of the decrease in retail. If timed property and in conjunction with other lights a new light could be a helpful factor.
Mr. Edward C. Gibbs Jr., Esquire, 1300 Caraway Court Suite #102 Largo Maryland 20774, attorney for the applicant, added to his statement earlier, the only comments he recalls at the community meetings were regarding a convenience store gas station and circulation, but nothing about traffic volume in general.
Chairwoman Betman opened the public hearing at 7:39 p.m.
Jeffery Mills, 14409 Sandy Ridge Lane Laurel, Maryland 20707, said he was confused; he was never addressed in the meetings. He did not receive any information regarding the community meetings from the developer. When he moved into the area, he was told there would be a shopping center from Ryan Homes. He would like some information or evidence on what went out as notification of the community meetings. Mr. Mills stated his issue is the increase in townhomes and them not being built the same way as the surrounding neighborhoods. Mr. Mills does not want to see his property de-appreciate. Regarding the traffic study, he does not believe in the numbers. Mr. Mills questioned why a hotel would be put in there. Lastly he stated he does not want to see an additional 81 townhomes constructed.
Munje Kebbie, 14203 Westside Ridge Lane, Laurel, Maryland 20707, president of the HOA Westside Ridge, agrees with everything that Mr. Mills stated. There is no clubhouse for the townhouse portion, so not sure where the meeting community was held. The residents are invested in the property values and the City of Laurel. She also added they only have one fire lane and that is a concern. The developer is not their enemy but they need to consider something else like a community center or a school. Possibly build another road. Lastly, she stated, if this is going to be approved there needs to be more conditions, something to help the citizens of Laurel.
Djuro Karanovic, 14212 Westside Ridge Drive Laurel, Maryland 20707, he said he believes there is a mischaracterization of the meeting location; it is a lease space that was used. He added there was a big banner that was posted stating retail coming soon; however, the sign was recently taken down. He believes they were using that sign to get deals on selling properties.
Adrian Wilson, 14300 Ridge View Lane Laurel Maryland 20707, said being in this area in the last year the traffic has got bad. Should be looking for a way to mitigate traffic concerns.
Haleema Ali, 14427 Sandy Ridge Lane Laurel, Maryland 20707, having more homes would make them feel more isolated, was not aware of any of the community meetings that were held by the developer, feels her community has been misinformed.
Vivian Walker, 14303 Ridge View Lane, Laurel, Maryland 20707, agrees with Mr. Mills, questioned how do they know the townhouses will be built with the same style and quality as existing homes. Also stated she is concerned about the design that could affect the existing homes.
Amber Okusaga, 14207 Westside Ridge Lane Laurel, Maryland 20707, said she was the first resident to move into Westside, moved from Montgomery County because she was told this property would be a good investment. Stated she was not notified about the community meeting as well. She said when people have parties, visitors will park wherever they can. In addition she added, to not have a shopping center is concerning. Claims she cannot sell her home, Avery Place has effected the property value, and price point was too high in the community. Lastly, she stated for the Commission to consider the traffic and property value, as she feels trapped in the community now.
Mr. Edward C. Gibbs Jr., Esquire, 1300 Caraway Court Suite #102 Largo Maryland 20774, stated he was at both meetings and there were residents of the townhomes present. Avery Place has nothing to do with Westside; Avery Place was a part of the Avalon project. There is no sister community to Westside. There will be 40,000 sq. ft. of retail. His client has spent five years trying to get more but the reality is it will not happen. The lots and townhomes will not be smaller. They will be equal or better. The developer will sell at the highest price they can. They originally requested 250 ft. right of way, two lanes in and two lanes out, which is what would be needed for the complete Westside community project. They are not asking for something that is not permitted. Every single legal criteria has been met, all they are changing is the mix of what is going in because the reality is, retail stores are decreasing.
Mr. Mills, 14409 Sandy Ridge Lane Laurel, Maryland 20707, asked the developer to produce a list or written notice of the meetings that were held. Apartments behind them was renamed as Duvall. Many visitors park in their neighborhood to get to the apartment units. He added right now, there is a dust concern because dirt is blowing into their community, onto cars and into houses. There is no more room for more units. Sell it to a developer who can building single family homes.
Councilman Smalls expressed concern for the current residents not being notified from the developer about the meetings as they raise some valid points and should have a chance to be heard. He suggested the developer spend some time with them and if a venue is need, the City of Laurel Council Chambers could be used.
Mr. Rick Wilson clarified that currently they do not have the right to build additional 81 townhomes. He understands right now retail is tough so he ges that situation. He added he would not like to see the property remain empty, however, is not ready to vote approval on this just yet. The developer and community needs to get together to help alleviate all the concerns raised tonight.
The Commission, on motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Wellford, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to table the Amended M-X-T Concept Plan Application and Resolution No. 19-03-PC.
The next agenda item was for Text Amendment Application No. 251, filed by the Mayor and City Council of Laurel. Ms. Pulley presented the technical staff report dated March 29, 2019. Currently, the Code does not allow health campuses to be constructed in the City of Laurel. The proposed amendment would permit the structures in the following zones: R-5 –One-Family Detached, R55 – One Family Detached and RMD- One Family Detached Medium Density.
The Commission, on motion by Ms. Bonheur, seconded by Mr. Wellford, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to recommend approval of the Text Amendment No. 251- Ordinance No. 1941. The proposed text amendment would allow a Tourist Home as an accessory use within a single family dwelling (one family detached) within certain residential and commercial zones.
The final agenda item was Text Amendment Application No. 253, filed by the Mayor and City Council of Laurel. Mr. Love presented the technical staff report dated March 20, 2019. The proposed text amendment would allow a Tourist Home as an accessory use within a single family dwelling (one family detached) within certain residential and commercial zones.
There was some discussion among staff and the Commission regarding the conditions listed on the staff report.
The Commission, on motion by Ms. Bonheur, seconded by Mr. Wilson, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to recommend approval of the Text Amendment No. 253- Ordinance No. 1942 for application filed by the Mayor and City Council of Laurel.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:41 p.m.